Peter Zinovieff

26.1.1933 – 23.6.2021

I am so very sorry to confirm news of the death of friend and collaborator Peter Zinovieff, composer, inventor, librettist, geologist, computer scientist and profoundly inspirational man. My heart goes out to his wife Jenny and to every one of his family and friends.

Over the last eleven years, Peter has enjoyed a fantastic late summer of creativity, made possible by Jenny. It has been the greatest honour to have been one of the artists to have worked with him. For those who have found their way to this post wanting to know more about Peter’s work, please check out his brilliant collaborations with Lucy Railton and Aisha Orazbayeva. Peter and I made five multichannel pieces, Horse (2011), Edge (2013), Field (2015), Sun (2016) and Under the Ice (2021), together with The Long Line (2018), a small installation for computer and voice. We were always so eager to start the next project that little of this has made it onto the web. I do have Peter’s own stereo reductions of our pieces, and will try to make more available over the coming weeks.

Reflecting on how ahead of his time Peter was, a reader has written in The Guardian comments: ‘Hardly anyone today is thinking about practical links between music, metaphor, computing, and semantics in the ways he did.’ I completely agree. Music, metaphor, semantics, computing – and geology. All of them sparking off each other in Peter’s work, from his early experiments in A.I. to The Mask of Orpheus to the work of his last ten years. What a mind. And how lightly he carried it. He had the imagination of a poet with the incisiveness of a scientist, and was endlessly generous in sharing those gifts with others. He inspired so many of us with his marvellous gift for life, and was simply so much fun to be around.

Photo by Jenny Zinovieff, 2017

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